|Possibly the best name for a B+ model- The Felt "Surplus" for 2016 Image courtesy of BRAIN|
Some early releases bear this out- Specialized has not only embraced the hard tail 27.5+ bike, but has a full suspension
But what about 29+? Well, we haven't seen a whole lot of movement on that front. Trek is basically going to keep 29+ alive, in my opinion, because of their commitment to the category with the introduction of the Stache. However; this will prove out to be the odd introduction, and won't be joined by many more. I know of one bike coming out in 29+ guise and about five times that number in 27.5+ wheels.
As I have said many times, 29+ is too big for most folks. With an outer diameter of 31 inches, give or take a bit, the 29+ is just too much. Too much diameter to make it work for smaller folk. Too much weight to get going from a stop or slow speeds. Too much is only going to work for fewer folks. That isn't good business. Despite Trek, Manitou, and QBP's commitment to 29+, I give it about five years more before it goes away.
|Talk about yer wagon wheels......|
In fact, I foresee that if this deal really gets a foothold we will also see the demise of the 29"er as well. Manufacturers would then be able to sell across one bead seat diameter for rims and one ISO bead size for tires. Manufacturers like that, and so do retailers. Smaller bikes and lighter, XC oriented bikes would all be 27.5, with the "bigger diameter option" becoming the B+ wheel. I even see fat bikes becoming 27.5/584 ISO based bikes, since that would eliminate 26 inch based wheel/tire stuff altogether, as it has mostly been wiped out anyway by 29"ers and 27.5" today.
Anyway, back to reality! The thing is, this 27.5+/B+ thing is going to become a droning sound in your ears for the next several months, so ya'all better get used to reading and hearing about how awesome it is. Because it is coming, whether you want it to or not.